I was at the LaRouche-conference 2003, where Jeremiah Duggan participated too. I spent two days at the youth conference afterwards, and then I went back home to Sweden.
The night before Jeremiah died, or perhaps two days before I spoke to him.
At the conference he had voiced his opinion about several things, among them that he wondered whyt many of the people the movement were attacking were Jewish, but also why so many "enemies" were Brittish. The movement said that Sharon was "fascist" and he wondered if that was not antisemitic to say such a thing..
On the night I saw him in a very heated exchange with some of the french and american LYM (LaRouche Youth Movement members) at the youth hostel in Wiesbaden, where I too was staying. The exchange I listened to had to do with if the world could be changed or not, if humans are good or not. Duggan were of the opinion that mankind was evil and that ist was not possible to change the world to the better. He was clearly in a bad shape. Almost crying. The LYM told him not to be psychosexually impotent. They yelled at him that he was not "serious" about his life..
He left the discussion (or the Lym left him, I cant remember). I went up to him to calm him down and see what I could do. I was already at that time on my way to leave the organization and did not like the way new "recruits" were put under psychological pressure. I simply asked him what HE thought about things and let him speak.
First he voiced his worries about antisemitism, but added that that was no BIG problem. The biggest problem with the LaRouche-organization was that it was so "optimistic" that it believed that it could change the world. He told me that he had decided to visit the conference because the conference had an Anti-racist, anti-war and were opposed to "the conservative revolution" in The USA. But all this optimism about mankind and the nature of man that the LaRouchemovent apparently stood for, made him disturbed. It reminded him of a cult, he told me.
That REALLY freaked him out, because his view was different. He explained that he believed that mankind was evil and that the earth was the hell of another universe, a kind of giantic prisonhouse. Mankind are here to SUFFER, he told me. God is not a good God, but God is the devil.
This is what I remember.
My conclusion after the discussion with him was that he was on the verge of a mental breakdown. A breakdown that partly had to do with his very "black" and pessimistic worldview but mostly had to do with the methods the LaRouche cult used to try to recruit him and persuade him to join the cult.7
(I spoke to Poul Rasmussen from Denmark about my worries about him afterwards.)
After the death of Duggan the cult ordered an halt to all internal discussion about this. All obeyed! And that was one of the reasons I got mad at the organization. The things that happened was obviously problematic for the cult.
That is my statement.
May 28, 2011
To get a sense of hos I view it, I will add one relevant letters where I write things that I have forgotten by now.
From a letter to an anti-LaRouche activist, 2009.
I do not know what happened later but know that beating opponents was NOT a part of the cultmethods at the time. (That does not exclude that he was beaten. There could have been a fight with individual members or something could have happened that made him angry. Remember that he was on the verge of a mental breakdown the night (?) before.) My view is still that he either committed suicide or had a breakdown and did not know what he was doing. (THAT IS MY OPINION!)
In retorspective my view is that he was most probably recruited in the way nearly all new recruits are recruited. he was recruited to come to the conference because it wanted to change the world.
When at the conference two things combined. First that he reacted to
the cultmethods in the organization, especially the false optimism of it. Secondly, the false optimism of the organization made him suffer a crisis, because his basic worldview was pessimistic: i.e. the world is evil, god is evil, the earth a prisonhouse, etc...
I am a bit unsure what happened then. Often when a new contact comes to a conference he or she continues to be provoced by the difference between what is said by the movement, and what some people call the movement (nazi, etc). Often they will voice their critizism in the open at the conference. The notes of Duggan, shows that this happened, and I can confirm that he reacted and asked if it is not antisemitic to
say that some jews, like Sharon, are fascist.
It is not true that opposition is seen as negative immediately. At a youth conference it is recepted in two ways. Either as good, because it is an opposition of a person that can be persuaded to be a hardcore member (Many fulltimers, old as well as LYM has had doubts, and expressed them in public at conferences, at first), or it is seen as a threath, because it desorganizes other potential recruits.
My impression at the time was that he was treated according to the first group. I remember that I spke to some people after the intervention Duggan made, and they saw it as fruitful (this could have changed later on, I dont know about that).
At the evening (I at least think it was this evening) I spoke to Duggan for some time. he talked about his fear about antisemitism, but confessed that it did not seem probable. The big thing he reacted on that evening was the OPTIMISM. he said that the organization is wrong because it believes that mankind is good and that politics can change the world to the better. His basic worldview was pessimistic: i.e. the world is evil, god is evil, the earth a prisonhouse, etc...
He talked about this for so long that I came to the conclusion that Duggan might be one person that has planned or plans to commit suicide. He is not stable. Ther older members I spoke later to said that "we know that, and have talked about it". Just before we talked he had gone through an "egostripping" session... 6 LYM:ers from France and the US stood around him and all "discussed" his opposing arguments and that tries to persuade him that he is wrong!
We talked about Shakespear instead for some time, and talked about his worldview, and then we parted.
On the day after or two days after, I left to Stockholm, and when I came there I heard that he had committed suicide. Probably two days after we met. I dont know what happened with him during these days...
I believe that the LYM made a demonstration at downtown Franfkurt or Wiesbaden one of these days. If so, it would have been during that demonstration/booktable deployment that someone made antisemitic remarks against him (I believe J tennenbaum told the mother that this had happened once.). Most probably that happened. Some old antisemites used to attack the jews inside the movement. I have seen that happen several times.
That a new LYM recruit is exposed to this kind of violent "attacks" (to use the LaRouchian language) during a deployment, is seen as good. But considering the state he was in I think that this was disasterous for him. I did not participate at the demonstration/rally, I think I was at the office doing intelligence work that day.
I cant remember everything. Some years has passed since the conference. But I want you to know the things I know! The dating might be other than what I have told, this is my picture of it.
And it was no antisemitic/nazi conference, not even a coded one! :o) It was a conference by a conspiratorical harmageddon cult, that wanted to recruit
people based on false optimism!
Six years after the conference, at a time when many, or even the majority, of the participants has left the organization after realizing that it is a dangerous totalitarian cult. Perhaps one would be able to get them to speak out if one treaded the cult more like a cult?